Ways to Build a Chicken Coop

staff writer
Ways to Build a Chicken Coop

Knowing how to build a chicken coop properly really involves more than just hammering pieces of wood together. It is also about knowing which design and materials can provide the best shelter and protection for your flock. You see, unlike other domesticated animals like dogs or cats, chickens really need a safe place to roost at the end of the day.

When building a chicken coop, you can either choose to make one from scratch or simply build a pre-built one. Of course, starting from scratch will turn out to be cheaper but it takes more time and requires a certain amount of woodworking skill. Although pre-built models do require some assembly, it takes the guesswork and raw materials cutting out of the way.

Assuming that you are already knowledgeable in the more rudimentary aspects of woodworking, we have enumerated some of the key points that you have to keep in mind when planning how to build a chicken coop:

  1. You really have to make sure that your chicken coop is big enough for your flock. Allocate at least two square feet or space for every chicken. Crowding them too much will not only cause egg laying to decrease, it can also lead to faster disease transmission and infighting. If you plan to increase the number of chickens that you will be keeping, you should make provisions for a larger coop.

  2. Used lumber is actually better than new, if you can get it. It’s a good way to recycle plus aged wood is actually tougher and less likely to emit fumes which can cause respiratory issues with the birds.

  3. Choose the spot where the chicken coop will be. You need some place where the ground does not flood during rains. It should be somewhere not easily accessible to predators. And has a lot of fresh air available.

  4. When sketching out a chicken coop design, make sure that it includes a door big enough to let the chickens get in and out easily, some place to roost during the night, egg laying boxes, and windows on the south side. You need windows to provide ventilation in the coop and you need to put them in the south side because chickens are highly sensitive to light. They wake up at the first sign of sunrise and they will roost once it gets dark. Also, during the winter months, south side windows will let sunlight in.

  5. When building your chicken coop, ensure that the roof is sloped towards the back so that any rain water flows that way instead of over the door.

  6. You can install sliding glass doors for the windows so that you can shut it against predators at night, but if you need a cheaper option, installing chicken wire can do the job just fine. The door also needs to be latched after the chickens have come home for the night.

  7. Perches have to be installed a few feet off the ground, and the next boxes should be filled with straw.

  8. As for the chicken coop flooring, you can certainly use wood, concrete, tiles, or even just the bare earth. Leaving the ground uncovered inside the coop will give your chickens someplace to peck and scratch while cooped up, and it can really help relieve poultry stress during the rainy or winter seasons. However, predators will be able to get at the chickens by digging so you have to reinforce the perimeter of the coop by deep burying thicker chicken wire a couple of feet under the base of the coop.

After the structure for the chicken coop has already been constructed, the next step is to do all the finishing touches such as lining the nesting boxes and the flooring with fresh straw, as well as installing lighting and the water and feed containers. Lighting is especially important because unless the hens get about 15 hours of daylight, their ability to lay eggs will suffer. Make sure that water and feed containers are installed at least as high as the chicken’s breasts—so that they won’t be able to poop on them.

We hope that our guide on how to build a chicken coop has given you some valuable tips. Happy building!

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